The village of little dream's hunters

"Difu Simo", notes from a necessary roadshow

13-08-2020 by Freddie del Curatolo

Some villages in the immediate hinterland, at the foot of the Arabuko Sokoke forest, take you back 30 years, when rural life on the Kenyan coast was more than humble, but the people, once they had digested the inevitability of their fate, were happier.
Stegi Ya Maziwa in Midas is clean and tidy, he still has many mud huts, but they are almost all painted in soft colors or drawn in chalk.
One hut stands out on all of them, because on the compacted earth of the walls bricks have been drawn, as if coming out of a cartoon.
Imagining the clayey material as chocolate, one would say that we are in the African country of Hansel and Gretel.
That's the home of the Hunters, the Hunters.
Don't worry, they are not head-cutters, warriors with bow and arrows or fearsome predators of forest elephants. The Hunters are kids from 10 to 15 years old that the Covid-19 emergency has been keeping for months, and will keep until January away from school.
A threat, this one, that in Kenya has created many problems for young people and families: early pregnancies, violence, boys and girls' approach to the deviant flattery of society such as drugs, prostitution, petty crime.
For many model pupils who seek a clean way to excel and give meaning to their lives in education and to defeat the very idea of the invincible destiny of the past, the closure of schools has also meant stress and depression.
Stegi Ya Maziwa's little hunters have taken up the weapons of unity, music and fun to defend themselves.
They created a creative "crew" and from their passion for graffiti and music they switched to modern dance, creating choreographies and spending hours and hours rehearsing their shows.
The daily audience are the village mothers who wash their clothes near the well, the younger children who laugh, applaud and try to imitate them, the elderly who alternate a smile with an inevitable fall into the catalepsy of a deep sleep like their roots.
But now there is also a virtual audience, which makes him dream of other audiences, the one who will receive the videos shot with the mobile phone. Someone then puts them on Youtube and it's done.
"Did you know that kids like us in Nigeria had 30,000 followers and got a sponsorship to open a dance studio?"
Hunters are more contagious than any virus and keep away the ghosts of boredom, ignorance and diversity. United and focused on their choreography.
When the caravan of KEMRI, MADCA, and DIEA arrives in their neighbourhood, it's natural to invite them on the imaginary stage of our roadshow to perform. This is something to invite Maria De Filippi for a Kenyan edition of friends. And they are just friends, not toyboys and toygirls sent to the media slaughterhouse where "one in a thousand makes it".
They dream of making it, but already a new pair of headphones to listen to the 50 cents pieces and Beyoncé would be something to enjoy for months and to pass on to each other.
In the Brothers Grimm's village there's also room for a farmer who is moved by his wife's public speaking about a trauma he doesn't even know about.
His red eyes tell everyone that one can fall ill even in a miserable oasis of tranquility like that, and that the Devil or whoever has nothing to do with it, because he would never set foot here. Stegi Ya Maziwa's women, composed in plastic chairs as if they were at the theater, nod and finally applaud the truth. The psychiatrist at Kilifi Hospital has some advice and an invitation for a specific visit.
Between the nursery rhymes of the most important mijikenda poet, Kazungu Wa Hawerisa, and the popular songs of the singers of the Malindi District Cultural Association, another necessary day is spent that has taught everyone something important.  

TAGS: reportage kenyadifu simomida kenyastorie kenya

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